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Tributes paid to former deputy head

PUBLISHED: 15:29 11 November 2009 | UPDATED: 09:43 12 August 2010

MUCH MISSED: John Rigg.

MUCH MISSED: John Rigg.

A FORMER deputy headteacher and dedicated charity fundraiser has died at the age of 95. Former Orpington resident John Rigg died last Sunday at Ascot Residential Home, Ascot. The former deputy headteacher at Gray s Farm School, in Orpington, left the ar

A FORMER deputy headteacher and dedicated charity fundraiser has died at the age of 95.

Former Orpington resident John Rigg died last Sunday at Ascot Residential Home, Ascot.

The former deputy headteacher at Gray's Farm School, in Orpington, left the area after a lifetime in the borough when he retired at 62 after teaching for more than 25 years.

He first joined the teaching profession at Farnborough Primary in 1949 and contributed to a glowing school inspection that year which read: "With a school roll of 100 pupils divided into four classes, the headmaster with one assistant master and two assistant mistresses, is running a particularly interesting school to visit and reflects much credit on the staff, who do not spare themselves in their efforts to ensure that the children are not only happy and interested but are prepared adequately for the work of the secondary school. This is a school of which the headmaster and his staff have every reason to be proud."

His son Trevor said: "He had a prodigious memory for names and could recall whole families of children who passed through his hands, including the next generation. He spent many happy and fulfilling years at the school."

Mr Rigg and his wife, Pauline, left Orpington on his retirement at the age of 62 and moved to Pagham, West Sussex, where within two years he became well known in the area for charity fundraising and put himself forward for local council elections.

He raised money for the St Wilfrid's Hospice, Chichester, and was the driving force behind the Pagham Support Group in response to the creation of the Chichester Hospice Trust.

Trevor Rigg added: "His tireless, unstinting efforts to raise money for the St Wilfried's Hospice will be what many will remember him for, and it is difficult to find a finer legacy to the community in which he lived and a finer tribute to him. No one remembers him saying that he did the work out of a deep sense of charity; he just loved organising people!

"The many fund-raising activities included sponsored swims, tin rattling, flag days, paper collections, concerts at venues ranging from Arundel cathedral to Pagham church, barbecues, coffee mornings, fêtes. His inexhaustible ideas and persuasive leadership were an irreplaceable asset."

Mr Rigg is survived by his four children Malcolm, Phyllis, Trevor and Alison, grandchildren Alice, William, James, Alex, Nick, Rebecca, Mair and great granddaughter Nicola.

A memorial ceremony will be held at Chichester Crematorium next Friday at 12.30pm.

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